Using a Doggie Door

I recently purchased a glass panel insert with doggie door for a sliding glass doors. It's the one manufactured by PetSafe. It has a flap with a magnetic catch at the bottom. For some reason, Tucker doesn't seem to understand what the deal is with it. It's almost like he is scared of it.
I have a condo with a balcony and have been leaving the door cracked for him to come in and out for about two months. Just installed the door a few days ago. I've tried leashing him through it, I've laid a treat on the floor just inside the flap and I've gently pushed him through it. Seems like I can get him to come through with some coaxing while he's on the leash (but the flap opens for him when I pull on the leash) and he'll also go through if I hold the flap open for him. However, getting him to come through on his own seems impossible. I left him on the balcony for about half an hour last night and he still wouldn't come through. Instead, he just scratches on the glass around the door until I open the main door for him. He did accidentally hit the flap while scratching once and gave it a cursory sniff, but still didn't come through. When going outside or exiting the car he has no problem trying to bowl me over to get past me, but won't push this flap to go through.
Has anyone had any experience with training their dog to go through a flap? Tucker is 4 years old, and I thought he was quite clever. 😃

off topic, but my B-mix's name is Tucker too!

ok, back on topic… have you tried to LURE him though the door using a very high value reward. when I say very high value I mean something REALLY yummy! (roast beef pieces, hot dog pieces, cheese pieces, chicken pieces, etc...)

another idea would be if you could remove the flap, or tie it up?, and get him go through the opening without it. Reward him heavily with treats for in and out. Then put the flap back on, and try offering him some yummy treats.

Thanks to you both for your replies. I tried bacon, which, to me, is about at high an award as possible. 🙂 And my next step will be to tie the door up for a few days and see how that does. For some reason he seems to be afraid of the door. Guess it's just something new to him. He does seem to be more prone to go through it when I hold it open, but it still takes some coaxing. Perhaps after a few days with it tied open, he'll get the idea.

And regarding "John Jacob Jingle Heimer Smith" (his/her name is mine's name too!), I actually adopted him from a family in MA. Imagine that? Two Tuckers in the same state, e-ven. 🙂 Of course now he's home with me, in VA.

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My dogs are always unnerved by those type of flaps used on human sized doors. It is probably unlike anything he has experienced...having to push something open with his face...give it some time, I bet he comes around 🙂

Tucker is 4 years old, and I thought he was quite clever.

Hey don't sell Tucker short! Everyone knows you're not supposed to walk through doors HA 🙂 Once he figures out you actually CAN walk through doors I'm sure he'll love it.

This may be a far fetched idea but do have any visitors that ever come over with their dogs? Maybe by watching he'd get it pretty quick.

Great idea, if he didn't want to eat most other dogs. 🙂 Actually, if I could find someone with a smaller dog or similar in size (and female), it might just work. He's VERY Alpha. Every larger dog I've introduced him to, he's tried to bite. Equal or smaller dogs, well…it's a toss up. I adopted him through Brat about two months ago and I think it takes some time for him to adjust to not having someone home all the time like his previous family was. He's also big on biting people who don't know how to approach dogs. He's gotten me, a neighbor, a friend and the UPS guy. I've started putting notches on his crate (after upping my liability insurance)... He got me the first week and it was over a sock!! (and I know the difference between a bite and a nip, trust me!) But I'm going way off topic here... 🙂 So I'll just stay off... hee hee!

My friends tell me he has mental problems... I guess it goes without saying that I have established the pecking order in my home, but people who come and go don't understand what I tell them because everyone seems to think they 'know dogs' and when I tell them to ignore him - let him come to them they seem to think that they all have this special gene that makes them impervious to a dog that isn't a slobbering-happy-go-lucky-everybody's-friend-Golden Retriever! They seem to confuse uniqe and different with 'mental'. Pfffft!

Um, what were we talking about??

I forgot to mention that the previous owners sheltered him a bit. Not too many visitors and not too many puppy pals. They told me I needed to socialize him. Tucker bit a kid a while back, and the family 'got pregnant' and feared for the safety of the new family addition, thus the adoption (and my good fortune). 🙂

You are sooo cool to adopt poor Tucker. I firmly believe that a LOT of people do not show the correct body language. I got my 2 B's from a breeder & Topaz is just like Tucker. She doesn't like her space invaded & she doesn't like people just rolling up on her like HEY!! :eek:

Much like humans how would you like a stranger to just come up to you in your face & start touching you. HA! Unacceptable! Right?!

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Don't you LOVE that....'it's okay, dogs love me' HA!, right! You sound like a perfect basenji mom!!!

You know, it's not that he was abused or neglected. I just imagine that he was a two person dog, simply stated. In dire need of socializing - with both dogs and people. I do hold them accountable for one thing, though… What kind of a person would give up a dog just to have a baby? W-w-what? :rolleyes:

He's really good with me. Very tolerant. I can just about do anything with or to him, within reason and with respect for his limits. Other people have to be cautious, but he's opened up to a select few. My roommate was terrified of him when I brought him home. Said he 'just looked at her mean'. After I finished laughing (inside, of course) I did my best to acclimate them. Now she loves him like he was her own. Just took a little time and patience...

And, for the record... My silly walker let him bite the UPS guy and the neighbor after being told HOW he is supposed to be introduced. She still slipped a few times and has been reprimanded for it. My friend got bit because he doesn't listen and came over and went right for Tuck's head for a friendly pat. Ooopth! :eek: Bet he won't do that again... I got bit because I'm stupid and did something I was told not to do (two days after I adopted him) and that is take something away from him forcefully. Now, there's still a breakdown. The previous owner told me that I should offer him a treat to replace what he's stolen. What happened was he started stealing things to earn a treat. (clever bastard!) I found that a rather booming "NO!" accomplished the same thing.

The whole dominance thing is really big with the males. At least MY male. He still growls at me from time to time, but he knows who's boss. It's just funny how he still tries to take advantage of others. He'll beg a friend, but keeps a wide circle around me. He'll rifle through their stuff, but not mine... I guess that's how is supposed to be, being that I'm the one who feeds him. 😉

@Quercus:

Don't you LOVE that….'it's okay, dogs love me' HA!, right! You sound like a perfect basenji mom!!!

I apprecate that with one exception. I, like Tucker, am a male. 😃

I do love that, though… My nutty downstairs neighbor has a big stupid Retriever and I passed her in the corridor one afternoon. She squatted (nice) and started to reach in (uh, oh). So I quickly said "be careful, he's aggressive and can snap or bite!" She replied "Oh laws a mercy, darlin'! It's okay, I know dogs!" and proceeded to reach in and Tucker lunged at her and uttered a nice threatening "Grrrrowwwl!" and gnashed a nice toothy grin. She almost fell over reversing away from certain doom... Again, laughing inside. :p

<_>

ooops! So sorry :o !!! I don't know why I assumed…you know what happens when we do that!

I amend my statement...a perfect basenji dad!!!_

We have a door into the garage for the cats to use – that's where we used to keep their litter box. Once Jazzy moved in, that changed. SHE would use the cat door to squeeze into the garage and eat the cat food. Because the kids often leave the big garage door open, we can't have Jazzy in there.
So, we moved the litter box in to the upstairs bathroom {ugh}, and have permanently locked the doggie door.

One note -- going through the doggie door rubbed the hair off of Jazzy's tail. I guess because it was the last piece of her going through as the door flap came down. Once we locked up that dog door, her tail hair grew back beautifully!

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There ya go TuckerVA, put a cat and/or catbox on the other side...I bet that would do it....oh...or how about a rabbit! Oh, poor bunny....
yeah, sick, I know..;)

@JazzysMom:

going through the doggie door rubbed the hair off of Jazzy's tail.

Hee hee! I don't have to worry about this. My Tucker is a bit uniquerer because his tail was either chopped or cropped a loooong time ago. He's 4 and change, and the family I adopted him from had him for 3.5 year and they don't know how his tail lost it's end. His tail is about 4" long and stands straight up. Thinking about hanging a flag on it. :p

Don't you let your friends convince you that your dog has mental problems! He's a typical basenji. He's just encountered something new i.e. a doggie door he hasn't quite figured out yet. He will, just give him time. Mine is skittish about a lot of things she sees for the first time.

I'm not sure why people would give a dog away to have a baby either. I mean there are ways around it as I've learned. Like never leaving the baby alone with the dog DUH! And I also think that once the dog realizes that the baby is part of the family they'll adapt. My TOPAZ has the same apprehensions with humans as Tucker does & we're still planning on a baby & she'll have to get to know the baby & learn that the baby will be master #3!! 🙂

BTW-just because it takes Tucker & Topaz a little more time to get to know people does NOT mean that they have issues. They're just more cautious is all. And usually she's better with meeting people outside vs. in the house in her territory 🙂

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